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RFA Fort Austin is in Seychelles & Seychellois veterans acknowledged for their services

RFA Fort Austin is in Seychelles & Seychellois veterans acknowledged for their services ( Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said as he addressed the captain, officers, and navy personnel of Fort Austin in the presence of members of the Diplomatic Corp, members of the Seychelles Defense Forces, Seychellois veterans who played a part in the RFA, and invited guests gathered at the visit by RFA Fort Austin that this event provided a significant moment for Seychelles and the United Kingdom not only because of the celebration of strong ties that unite Seychelles and the United Kingdom, but because it was also an opportunity for Seychelles to show its appreciation to the veterans for their service as part of the RFA.

Minister St.Ange, who was representing Minister Jean Paul Adam, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, who unfortunately was not able to be present at RFA Fort Austin event, said that he was dedicating the first few sentences of his address to these remarkable Seychellois men who played their part and sometimes put their lives at risk to ensure the delivery of practical, operational, and logistical support to the Royal Navy, notably during the 60s and 70s.

Captain Ross Ferris, the Captain of RFA Fort Austin, was the first to take to the podium, and he thanked Seychelles for the warm welcome received by crew. He retraced the part played by the RFA ships and spoke about the tanker Ennerdale that sunk in Seychelles waters when leaving Port Victoria. The British Embassy Deputy High Commissioner also took to the podium to thank the government of Seychelles for the continued ties of friendship and for always making Port Victoria open for British ships.

When he took the podium, Minister Alain St.Ange said: “As the years have progressed, Seychelles and the United Kingdom have continued to endeavor to undertake positive actions through our cooperation across a spectrum of sectors for the good of the people of Seychelles and for the development of our society. I wish to acknowledge here the last training exercise which took place between the Seychelles Coast Guard and Fort Austin's personnel last Friday, June 27. This is a strong demonstration of the commitment of the United Kingdom to capacity building for greater maritime security and law enforcement in the region - a task which has readily been taken on since the emergence of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean," Minister St.Ange said.

The Minister went on to say that he was thankful for the support Seychelles had received from the United Kingdom for numerous initiatives that seek to address the economic, environmental, as well as sustainability challenges faced by small island states. “I salute by this same token, the practical efforts being undertaken by the Commonwealth to help push the issues of SIDS [Small Island Developing States] to the fore within the international community. The active engagement of the organization in preparation for the Third Conference on Small Island Developing States is instrumental in bringing together the voice of SIDS." Minister St.Ange also thanked the UK for its support in numerous other ways including through the donation of vital state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate the work of professionals such as doctors, nurses, and policemen - professionals whose roles are to preserve the very heartbeat of society.

PHOTO: Minister St.Ange delivering his address on RFA Fort Austin, discussing with the Captain and Deputy High Commissioner of the UK, and standing with Seychellois veterans.


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